Useful Mac Shortcut Key (show desktop)

Part two of my notes of moving from Windows to Mac – read part 1 here

One of the most popular posts in the blog is the shortcut key in windows to ‘show desktop’. I love shortcut keys, but they’re all different on the Mac so I’m having to learn them all over again.

Here are the one’s I’ve found so far along with their Windows equivalent;

Action Mac Windows
Show Desktop Fn + F11 Ctrl + DownArrow Windows Key + D
Lock Screen (when going away from my desk) Ctrl + Shift + Eject Windows Key + L

For some things though, I’ve found I need to use a shortcut where I used to use a key. For example, “Delete” on windows, is the delete key. It removes the character to the right, as opposed to the “Backspace” key, which removes the character to the left. My Macbook Pro doesn’t have a delete key, but the action is available using Fn + Backspace.

It also doesn’t have a right mouse button… I’m still learning to live without that but haven’t quite memorised the shortcut. I’m also finding gestures a little hard. While I’m remembering to use two fingers to scroll the page (my previous HP had a scroll function on the right side of the mousepad area), I’m finding a feeling of fatigue in my fingers similar to that I remember from learning to type or play the guitar. I like the principle of the gesture control though, so I suspect I’ll wonder how I managed without it once I’m used to it.

Update May 2012 – For some reason Fn + F11 isn’t working for me any more. So, I looked in [apple menu top left of screen] > System Preferences > Mission Control and I see the shortcut is: [ctrl] + [down arrow]. Maybe I got it wrong before, maybe I changed it and forgot, maybe it changed with an update… but this is what it is for me now.


2 responses to “Useful Mac Shortcut Key (show desktop)”

  1. Ages ago I managed to set my right cmd key on my Macbook air (Late 2010 model) as a desktop shortcut, but as I use my 5 finger pinch now to get to the desktop I want to return the right cmd key back to just a cmd key but I can’t find any mention of how to do this anywhere on the net. Do you know how I might have done it and how can I now undo it. There is nothing in system preferences.

    1. Try Preferences > Personal > Mission Control > (then select your new preference in the scrolling box).

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